For many years it was said that on September 1st the “flannelled fools gave way to the muddied oafs” as the cricket season ended and the football season began, writes Gary Parle.
Today sees just day three of the FIRST Ashes Test match at Edgbaston yet Sincil Bank will witness the start of the 2019/20 Division One campaign and another small piece of Imps’ history will be written as it will be the earliest date we have ever started a Football League season on. By the time the Ashes series finishes, assuming the 5th Test goes the full distance, on September 16th we will have played eight Football League fixtures, could be through to the 3rd Round of the Carabao Cup and have started our EFL Trophy campaign!
It isn’t so very long ago (well at least until 1967 so in my lifetime just) that the FA wouldn’t allow paying spectators to watch football matches two weeks before the official start of the season, although that year it was August 19th, so 100 or hardy souls gathered at Skegness Town to watch City play on August 2nd all had to be refunded their admission money and leave, although no doubt many would have re-entered without paying, before the two sides battled out a 1-1 draw with George Peden scoring from the penalty spot for the Imps.
City have been in action on August 3rd in the past with a friendly against Oxford United in 1974 being the first such time. As the cutting shows the squad was on the small side and Dixie McNeil had departed to Hereford so the 1045 who turned up could be forgiven for being apprehensive for what the season would bring. In the event City lined up with Jimmy Gordon in goal (although Dave Tennant came out of retirement to play in a later pre season match), Ian Branfoot, Dennis Leigh, Terry Cooper, Sam Ellis, Colin Symm, Dick Krzywicki, John Ward, Peter Graham, Jimmy McGeough and Alan Harding with Dave Smith, Gordon Byron and Colin Anthony all later coming off the bench as substitutes replacing Ellis, Symm and McGeough. Ward scored our goal on the hour mark in a 1-1 draw.
Three Lincolnshire Cup matches have been played on this date winning at Scunthorpe 2-1 in 1976 and losing at home to both Gainsborough Trinity 0-2 in 1988 and 2-1 to Grimsby Town in 1991 along with a further seven friendlies the most recent being six years ago when Sean Newton scored the only goal here against Boston United.